For some time now we’ve been looking at this exhortation from the scripture to “Stand”. To be a courageous person in the face of opposition. To defend what belongs to you. To keep what God has given.
In Ephesians 6, when Paul is talking about the importance of having the armor on, twice he exhorts the believer to “Stand”. First time in verse 11, He says, Ephesians 6:11 (NKJV) “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”. Here we are exhorted to stand against the schemes of the devil, stand against his tactics, and stand up to everything the devil throws your way.
There are many others places in the scriptures we have similar exhortation. For example, we are called to “Stand in liberty” - “stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). We are to “Stand united and singularity of vision”, - “let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Phil 1:27) We are to stand and Praise God in the sanctuary of God. Psalm 134:1 (AMP) BEHOLD, BLESS (affectionately and gratefully praise) the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, [singers] who by night stand in the house of the Lord.
Second time in Ephesians 6 that Paul exhorts us to stand is verse 13, “…having done all, to stand”. What does Paul mean as he closes verse 13? Paul is saying, once you have on the armor, keep it on, stand and use it, and continue to use it to keep standing. Here he implies we will be tempted to get in a relaxed mode. After winning the victory for which we prayed, fasted, and stood in faith, we have a tendency to let our guards down, relax, and then succumb to Satan’s assaults. Please understand that many times Satan attacks after the victory. We must never get overconfident. First Corinthians 10:12 tells us, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Maintain your position in the things of God unlike those in Biblical times who failed after receiving their respective victories. Let’s look at some of these Bible examples.
After God established a covenant with Noah, he was found drunk. Abraham, after God made a covenant with him, lied to Abimelech by telling him that Sarah was his sister and not his wife. Moses who saw the power of God work signs, wonders, and miracle failed to enter the Promised Land. These got the victory but failed to keep it by continuing to stand.
The apostle Paul gives us great principles that I believe attest to a person who is has chosen to Stand for He writes in Romans 13:11-14, ‘And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts’.
In this text there are 7 characteristics highlighted. Let’s look at them briefly.
Alertness - “high time to awake out of sleep” verse 11
This is one of the main characteristics of a person that is to “Stand”. Peter in chapter 5 of his first epistle also encourages us to ‘be alert’. Remember that Gideon sent back a part of his army because they didn’t have the characteristic of ‘alertness’. More than ever, we need to be alert to what God is doing, and also the tricks of the enemy.
Put off the works of darkness (verse 12)
When we have decided to ‘stand’ we have to stand in purity before God. We can’t allow things in darkness in our relationships, money, our conversation, and our attitude. Darkness is a open door for the enemy to enter.
They have the armor of Light
That means our deeds have to be deeds that exhort people to glorify God. That means everything about you should display that you belong to the Kingdom of God.
They have a Honest heart
One of the most powerful weapons we have against the enemy is to maintain a pure, transparent heart before God and man. Many come and question our motives? But we have to make sure that our hearts are filled with the plan and purposes of God.
There is no dual living (No spirituality mix with carnality)
We learn to love righteousness and hate wickedness. Not many people hate wickedness. They like to mess around on both sides. It’s important that we don’t even allow the appearance of evil in our lives. (I Thess 5:22)
They depend on Jesus not people (verse 14 “Put on Jesus”)
When you’ve decided to stand you are totally leaning on Jesus. Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
People that ‘stand’ are people who are completely relying on Jesus. They never even for a minute think that it’s their strength that will help them stand. This is important, otherwise after the people welcome ‘pride’ they think that it’s their own strength that made them stand.
Their priorities are on Kingdom Living. (verse 14 “make no provision for the flesh”)
People that ‘stand’ are people that are focused on the Kingdom and not on themselves.
When David defeated goliath, he immediately gave praise to God. Any battle that we win is a kingdom victory.
Looking to Paul’s words in Romans 13, let us arise from our slumber and take up the armor enabling us to stand in the evil day. Let us press on for the truth. Let us put on Christ so that the light of God can shine in darkness.